Personal Attention by Jaesha

ReviewsRating: NC-17

Summary: After Spike Giles' wife leaves him for another man he falls into despair. Will Buffy be able to save him before he destroys himself?

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Chapter 23: Failure Is Not An Option

Intense blue crashed into fiery green as Buffy walked through the doors leading to the emergency room waiting area. It made her weak in the knees, the rawness of his gaze, and she almost felt them give way beneath her. Her steps slowed as her shoulder leaned into the wall beside her and she slid across the painted surface for a few feet before coming to a stop.

He stood up, a smooth upward motion and for a moment, he just stared at her. His expression was unreadable save for the strength of the emotion that came off of him in bright waves. Even from fifteen feet away, she could feel it radiating from his tense body.

Then he started towards her, his stride confident and determined. Once he reached her, he paused again and just searched her face, stormy sea-colored eyes darting from the top of her head to her lips over her cheekbones and upwards until their gazes met.

Her breath was coming in short pants and her heart was beating so fast she was sure it was going to beat right out of chest. There were too many feelings coursing through her that she couldn’t discern one from another. They were just bonding together to create one overwhelming emotion that threatened to pull her apart at the seams.

His hands grasped her shoulders briefly before she was pulled into his warm and safe embrace. A bubble of relief in the form of a sob surfaced and for the first time since before her mother died, she gave herself over to someone else. To Spike.

She buried her face into his chest, the cool, black leather of his coat brushing against her cheek and giving her a better place to hide. His arms held her trembling body and took the burden of her weight, almost lifting her off of the floor.

His scent was a comforting mixture of tobacco and spice and Buffy couldn’t help but to lose herself in it. She had needed him and she hadn’t even realized it. It wasn’t until now…just now…that her mind grasped the concept. She needed him.

The silent admission went straight to her heart and she clutched at him tighter.

He leaned in and buried his nose in her tangled hair before setting a kiss upon the crown of her head. “Fuck, baby. You sacred me so bad,” he murmured against her.

She had scared herself, too. Of course, with his words, she felt an even heavier guilt settle onto her shoulders. How could she have done that to him? What was wrong with her? Why was she always hurting him?

“I’m sorry,” she whispered back. “God, I am so sorry, Spike.”

He pulled away suddenly, setting her at arm’s length. His dark eyebrows were scrunched together in confusion. “Sorry for what, kitten? It wasn’t your fault.”

Buffy bit at her lower lip to keep from bursting out into hysterical cries as she shook her head. “It was my fault. It was all my fault. I’m so sorry, Spike. I just keep doing things to hurt you and you forgive me every time.”

“Luv, you’re not making much sense. Maybe we should get you to the hotel so you can rest,” he told her.

Hotel?

“We’re not going to Albuquerque?”

Spike frowned. “No, you need your rest. I’m not gonna have you travelin’ like this.”

With that, Buffy finally could not contain herself any longer and a flood of tears began rolling down her cheeks.

“Buffy?” Spike pulled her back into his embrace. “What’s wrong? C’mon, luv, tell me.”

“I’m ruining everything!”

His chest rumbled with laughter. “You are not.”

“Yes, I am! I’m making your life a living hell and now you’re here with me when you should be in New Mexico getting ready for your next concert. You should just leave me here,” she said miserably.






******




Spike wanted to shake those stupid notions right out of her, but he chose to just hold her instead. It meant a lot to him that even in the face of her own problems, she continued to focus on the ‘strain’ she was putting on him.

Okay, so she was being a bit dramatic. She wasn’t ruining anything and she certainly wasn’t making his life hell. He had learned that she wasn’t the easiest person to be with and she did make things more difficult than they needed to be, but she made up for it every time she smiled at him and every time she touched him.

It was worth it. Every argument and frustration was worth it because he loved her. And while she may not be returning the sentiment now, there was a silent hush of promise in her voice every time he pleaded with her to love him back.

He understood her fear. It was difficult to open yourself up to someone when there was a chance that they might hurt you. Spike had no intentions of hurting her, but he had little doubt that whomever she let in before him had taken her trust and abused it.

Once bitten, twice shy.

Spike supposed that he should be the same way, but he was too stupid for self-preservation. It was the hope of finding someone to share his life with that overrode all fail-safes. He needed someone to give himself to, someone to take care of, someone to bring him into existence. Without that, he was nothing.

He was desperate for Buffy to feel about him the way he felt about her. To be loved and cherished and wanted. So, he would give her everything he had, even if it was the death of him. That was the only way to make her realize that he was in it for the long haul, that he wasn’t going to walk out on her or stomp on her heart.

“Can’t leave you here, Buffy. Who’d be there t’ inspire me, huh?” He asked softly.

“You don’t need me to inspire you, Spike. All of your songs are about Drusilla, you don’t need me,” she replied with a scowl.

His eyebrows shot up at that. Was she jealous that all of his songs were about Dru? “That’s exactly the reason I need you. Do you really think I want t’ sing about her for the rest of my life? I want her out o’ my life, Buffy, but the only way I can do that is by writin’ her out an‘ that‘s gonna take some time.”

She glanced up at him, the smile playing on her lips never quite making it to her eyes. “I have to get this prescription filled.”

A snort of laughter accompanied a shake of his head. There she was. He was beginning to wonder when the wall would be coming back up. It hadn’t taken nearly as long as he thought it was going to.

“Right then.” He had been expecting it, but that didn’t stop the disappointment he felt. God, just once, he wished he could talk to her without her changing the subject when the conversation turned personal.

“What?” She had the nerve to use that demanding tone with him and he glared at her.

“Don’t give me that bullshit, Buffy. You know what. You’ve known what for a long time now.”

She rolled her eyes a little before sighing. “If I knew what, I wouldn’t have asked.”

“Ha!” He pointed at her. “You think that’s gonna work? Not this time, sweetheart. I’m on t’ your little game. You think that if you pretend you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about that I’m jus’ gonna drop it.”

“Spike,” she warned.

“No,” he replied, shaking his head. “Not this again, Buffy. You can’t hold on t’ me for dear life one minute and push me away the next. It doesn’t work like that.”

“I’m not-”

“Somethin’ happened t’ you tonight, luv. It scared me t’ death an’ we both know it scared you too. Why don’t you let me in?” His voice began to falter slightly as tears began to form behind his eyes…again. “I can help you, but not when you keep pushin’ me away every time I get close enough t’ see where you live.”

That stopped any protests that were at the ready and her mouth snapped shut. She stared up at him, wide-eyed and lost, her green eyes sparkling with flecks of gold and shards of crystal.

“Why do you even care?” It had no malice or razor-sharp edginess. It was just a question. An honest question.

His eyes narrowed and his head tilted slightly to the right. “Because you did. Because everyone needs savin’ once in their lives. Because I love you.”




******





The streets shimmered as the black Lincoln Towncar raced down the long stretch of road. They were still wet from the passing rain and Buffy was mesmerized by their sparkle.

So far, the ride had been made in silence. Even when they had stopped at the 24-hour pharmacy to pick up her prescription, not more than a few words had passed between them. She was surprised that Spike wasn’t pushing her for a continuation of their conversation from earlier, but then she suspected he might be angry at her and Spike was normally pretty quiet when he was upset.

It was her own damn fault. She didn’t want to have this uncomfortable silence stretch out between them. Truth was that she needed to talk to someone about what had happened and there was no one else on earth she could see herself opening up to other than Spike. Not even Dawnie.

She glanced at him from the corner of her eye and felt her heart sink a little. He was staring out the window, his body pressed against the door and away from her. Why did she keep alienating him like this? It didn’t make any sense to her.

The car pulled into the large circular drive of the hotel and came to a stop in front of valet. There was an attendant standing outside and he quickly jumped into action, moving forward to open her door and help her out of the car.

“Good evening, ma’am. Welcome to Turquoise Creek,” he said with a friendly smile.

Turquoise Creek was a pretty fancy place considering it was out in the middle of the desert. Beautiful Mexican ceramic tile covered the entrance in intricate patterns and the walls were covered in Native American artwork and beadwork. The entire hotel was on a single level with a limited number of rooms and only a handful of suites. It was the kind of place that only catered to the wealthy and Buffy couldn’t help but to feel like she didn’t belong.

There was no check-in area, just a single stone-carved desk where the concierge sat. “Good evening, Mr. Giles,” the man greeted as came forward to shake Spike’s hand.

“We have your room ready with the specifications Ms. Jenkins gave us. Please follow me. Thomas will meet us there shortly with your bags,” the man told them before motioning that they follow him.

They walked down several corridors before finally stopping in front a pair of double doors. The concierge swiped the key card and opened the door for them.

The room was huge! Bigger than the room they’d had in Las Vegas that was for sure. It was decorated in a Southwestern fashion with earthy tones and natural stone.

She heard the door shut and when she turned around all she saw was Spike and their luggage in the foyer. Either she must have really lost track of time as she was staring in awe at the room or the staff here was super-fast to have missed them.

Her eyes flicked upward to Spike’s face, finding an intense gaze staring back at her. His body was poised to strike like a jungle cat in the foliage and Buffy found herself frozen like the prey he had set his sights on.

He started towards her, but her body refused to move.

“You an’ I are gonna have it out tonight, luv. No more runnin’,” he said thickly.

She was divided. Logic and reason dictated that this was the only way, but every emotion in her was screaming an order to run. And still, she didn’t move.

“Here’s the deal. We do this my way an’ if by the end o’ it, you still can’t trust me, then I’ll let it lie. No more pushin’, no more proddin’. You in?”







A/N: Sorry, just a short update to get everyone ready for the next chapter, which I promise will be chock full of Spuffy goodness, a little angst (or a lot), and a good dose of momentum.

I hope I haven’t lost any one…I know I’ve been horrible with updates and I’m not sure any one really liked the last chapter. There is a method to my madness.

Unfortunately, I have been suffering from writer’s block (yes…again) and a side order of self-pity. But as with anything, a long weekend with James, some liquor, and the greatest friends I could ever hope for have pushed my muse to get off her lazy ass and get some writin’ done! So thanks to James and his fine lookin’ self, oanimation, ghostgirl13, mad_brilliant, sandy_s (you’re such a sweetie!), and everyone who allowed me to flirt with them a Dragon*Con. Our fandom rocks!!!

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